Hydro power has always been important for electricity production. The first State-built schemes, at Lake Coleridge in the South Island and Mangahao in the North, although now over 90 years old, are hardly museum pieces, both being still in production. Hydroelectricity produces over 50% of New Zealand's electricity. With wind and geothermal energy also contributing this means that most electricity comes from renewable sources. The principal hydro power stations in both the North and South Islands were constructed by the State. They are symbols of the communal approach to economic activity once accepted without question in New Zealand. By their nature the dams, canals and lakes of these stations are important features in the man-made landscape.
Image Credit: Meridian

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